Session 1.3

Protecting biodiversity for a healthy and sustainable food system

In partnership with DG SANTE

The EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030 and its Farm to Fork Strategy are mutually-reinforcing strategies to protect people, the climate and the planet. Food systems are key drivers of climate change and environmental degradation, and have a profound impact on biodiversity. Global data point to decreasing diversity of plant species and varieties in farmers’ fields, rising numbers of livestock breeds at risk of extinction and an increasing proportion of overfished fish stocks. Protecting biodiversity, notably by ensuring diversity of seeds, is a key element of sustainable food production and plays a crucial role in building up more resilient EU agriculture and natural ecosystems. Preventing new pests and diseases from harming plants and animals is also needed to preserve and enrich the EU’s biodiversity. In doing so, the use of chemicals for pest and disease control can also be reduced.

This session will discuss the vital role that biodiversity plays in achieving a sustainable food system that protects our planet whilst ensuring food security, food safety and diverse and nutritious diets. Questions to be asked include, How can farmers make more use of different plant species? Can they rely on traditional and locally-adapted varieties (with possible lower yields) while earning sufficient income? Can food producers leverage biodiversity to obtain more diverse and higher quality foods? And how can consumers drive the demand for a more diverse food supply? Speakers and the audience will debate these questions and more, with a view to finding new opportunities for action.


Marta Messa, Director of the European Office & Member of the International Council, Slow Food

Christian Huyghe, Scientific Director of Agriculture of French National Institute for Agriculture, Food, and Environment (INRAE)

Guus van Laarhoven, Programme Leader Biodiversity and Environment, Friesland Campina


Aminda Leigh, Moderators Europe

Our principal priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of our speakers, moderators, exhibitors and participants, and so we have been monitoring the situation concerning the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak constantly. Due to the current situation and restrictions, it has been decided that EU Green Week 2020 will be available exclusively online.

You will have the opportunity to join the EU Green Week in a new immersive virtual experience. Not only will you be able to watch all the sessions live and interact with the speakers, but you will also have the possibility to explore the exhibitions and network with the other attendants just as if you were there !
The virtual event platform will be soon open - all you have to do is to register and you will gain access to the event from your home or office.
If you are interested in attending the virtual event, you can leave your e-mail address here and we will contact you as soon as the registration platform is available.